Ian Hamilton Finlay

On March 28, 2006, Posted by , In Blog, With No Comments

“Surprisingly for a poet, perhaps, Ian Hamilton Finlay’s most striking, best-known and internationally celebrated creation was a garden.

Over many years he gradually turned the grounds about his Lanarkshire home into a unique assemblage of sculptures, structures and inscribed stones called Little Sparta. The ideas given concrete form in Little Sparta range widely over philosophy and myth, but the over-arching idea was Finlay’s uncompromising hostility to war, in all its forms from Homer onwards.” Tim Cornwell (scotsman.com)

Just about a month ago while wandering through the library seeking a book on a specific topic, printmaking, I saw a book on Ian Hamilton Finlay. I was surprised at his age as I thought he was younger. Anyway, he body of work has fascinated me more than a few times since I have often worked outdoors and have a desire to continue working in the outdoor environment be it natural or manmade.

“Ian Hamilton Finlay, poet, sculptor and print-maker, who died on Monday, was unique among later 20th-century British artists. His refinement and erudition gave to the conceptual art of which he was a true pioneer qualities that were lacking in the work of many who would later claim conceptualism as their own. He was also, for all his personal quietness, combative in his own cause, and in the wider principles of art he espoused. In the early 1990s he had a run-in with the French cultural authorities over a sculpture they had commissioned. (He had overestimated their sophistication, in response to his ironical use of SS insignia.) It ended in his winning a single franc in damages.

Towards the end of Finlay’s life there were growing signs of his acceptance by the Scottish art establishment, after years when he duelled rebelliously with authority of all brands.” William Packer (Financial Times UK)

Acceptance, eh? Since Finlay’s work has not been shown in S. Florida, to my knowledge, it would seem we have a problem with work such as his. With all the subtropical foilage and many gardens throughout the state, Florida would seem to be a natural place for siting his work.

On the other hand, I do know many that get their freaking undies in a bunch when the temperature rises above 80 degrees farenheit. That’s one thing that really bothers me. If you don’t like to sweat, move to North Dakota. I almost said Minnesota except that I love Minnesota.

3 Banners
with Gary Hincks, 1992

70.0 x 68.5 cm

No Comment so far:

  1. Minor Update

    Ya know, I like this piece, it just nices a minor update to make it more modern:

  2. admin says:

    Re: Minor Update

    Zac, you’re too much. I’ll have to take a pic of my new work area. I’m working with some guys doing web development (databases) which I’ve only begun to do. I was getting a lesson in PHP last night… maybe, I’ll actually learn this stuff.

  3. Re: Minor Update

    Not such a fan of php, just a bit too “scripty” for me. I’m pretty much 100% Java now-a-days, but I’ve got a background in lots of PERL stuff for web.

    I recommend the ORielly books for web development.

  4. admin says:

    Re: Minor Update

    For me, it’s the opportunity to learn something new and potentially helpful. I’m not a coder by nature but, more of a design/ layout person. If I can help myself become more valuable, that’s a good thing. Don’cha think?

  5. Re: Minor Update

    Oh absolutely, and if you’ve got both design AND tech know-how then you’ll be in much higher demand. I can’t believe how many coders don’t know the first thing about layout.

  6. edbook says:

    hmmm that’s why I like western WA so much… no sweat…. for someone who has made sweating a passtime for much of my life, even when I was svelt.


  7. admin says:

    Ed, you are too much. But, I would think hiking through some tall trees would be a great exercise in sweating, summer or winter.